Friday, 9 May 2014

The Week in Summary

Where did this week go?  It's Friday already!  I guess having Daddy home for bank holiday made for a different start to the week (basically involving clearing out the garden a bit, plus cycling and kite-flying fun). We have not been anywhere much for the rest of this week either, owing to my not driving still (hoping that will change very soon - I just need to build up my confidence)  We've been out for walks to the park etc, but otherwise have been mostly at home doing some lovely activities.  Before I list them though, please note (as I do NOT want anyone to fall into the 'comparison = inadequacy' trap)... I am listing primarily for my own encouragement, plus hoping that there may be some readers who find ideas they can use.  This is a whole week's worth of activities for three boys, on a particularly productive week when we have been restricted to home-based work (I would rather have been able to drive, to be honest, but there you are - I don't want to complain).  So anyway, if you find yourself inwardly sighing and thinking "we could never do that much", or "we should be more like them", feel free to imagine me giving you a loving slap!  We don't do 'shoulds', otherwise I'd be overwhelmed by all the amazing HEors out there who seem to do so-much-more than I could ever imagine ;)  Anyway, here was our lovely week...

On Tuesday after MathsWhizz Eldest did some sorting in his bedroom - it's taken him a week, with lots of help from me, as it had got into a huge mess, and we needed a proper clear out so we can install a new storage unit this weekend (thank you Ikea).  Meanwhile Middle and Youngest did some scratch art, and after that Youngest wanted me to help him bake brownies.  Youngest also made some sticker pictures while Middle added some characters to his large Minecraft landscape painted last week, and then they all played with some friends...

Youngest's scratch art of (top l to bottom r) a sheep being eaten by a giant cockroach, a leech, a raygun, and a game involving a slug

Middle's scratch art of a beautiful butterfly and a "rainbow catcher"

 Youngest's brownies

Wednesday morning was quite busy, with Youngest on Reading Eggs, and Middle & Eldest doing English workbooks.  Then Eldest got on with some more sorting, while Middle and Youngest did some 'bubble science' with me (Eldest wasn't interested).  We made little bubbles and big ones, made a bubble film, explored geometric bubbles, made bubble clusters, tried blowing a bubble inside another (we couldn't make that work), and made a giant-bubble maker... we got close to producing a giant bubble, but not quite.  After all of the bubble exploration and conversation the boys had lunch while watching one of their favourite science TV programmes which has recently returned to the Pop Channel, "Finding Stuff Out".  In the afternoon we had some lovely friends around who we haven't seen for ages, and went up to the park to play with them - lots of fun!


On Thursday, as we couldn't go swimming as usual, we stayed home and had a really nice morning with my sister visiting, who the boys were almost as pleased to see as I was.  They didn't appear to get a lot done, other than jump excitedly over their auntie, but then they did go off and occupy themselves with their toys while the grown-ups chatted - so I just didn't get much in the diary that day, other than Mathswhizz, More "Finding Stuff Out" on the TV... and Eldest started work on an "Animal Classification" notebook that I found online and just knew he would love - it's right up his street.

Which brings us to today.  English workbooks and Reading Eggs, a visit from another family friend, followed by a bit of History!  I had been thinking lately that we don't seem to do a lot of history, which is a shame as it informs so much of our culture, and can be fascinating if you don't get hung up on dates too much (my opinion).  Anyway, a while ago a friend recommended the book "Kings and Things" - it was exactly what I had been looking for: a history book told as a series of read-aloud stories, written in just the style that my boys enjoy.  I managed to find the book second-hand online, and we started it this morning.  The boys snuggled up and I read the first chapter, on the Romans.  It was, as I hoped, a really nice springboard that provoked all sorts of questions - some of which I could answer, some we had to look up online.  The boys drew a picture each from the story (I confess, I had a 'teacher-ish' moment asking them to do so!), and then Eldest went to sort his final box of stuff from his room, while I found games for Middle and Youngest on Gridclub and the BBC primary site, focusing on the Romans.  I was thinking we could read the next chapter of the book next week (on the Saxons), but while the boys are interested in the Romans I think we'll stick with that as long as their interest lasts.  We have a few other books on the subject that I can strew - and a great Roman museum nearby that would be perfect to visit as a family this weekend if we can... we'll see. Incidentally, GridClub do a discount for home educators meaning that we just renewed our subscription at a cost of £15 for 2 years, for the family.  The boys like learning via computer game, and I like a bargain!

 Youngest was taken with the bit about the "lovely lady" (Boadicea) in the story

Middle wanted to draw a Roman fort using one of our books for reference -
 I think the "native huts" were more appealing for their simplicity

Eldest wanted to know what the Roman ships looked like, 
so he found a picture to copy from the internet

So there you go - that was our week.  And if, despite my earlier pleas, you're still feeling intimidated by what seems a lot, let me point out that each day probably consisted of just two short activities per child on average, with a lot of free time, playing, exploring, and general stuff that I couldn't or didn't photograph etc.  It does seem a lot when grouped together as a week - I'll try not to do that in future as I know it discourages some, plus it makes for an overloaded blog post - not so easy to read or write!  Thanks for sticking with me and reading to the end - have a good weekend everyone!

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